Getting Ready For The Circumnav….

Yes Boatblog ® Fans, that is not a typo…

We are planning a full circumnav – that’s circumnavigation for you landlubbers; sailing round the world. So once we’re across the Atlantic, it’s through the Panama Canal and then to….. Infinity and Beyond. Well – Darwin anyway.

We have just signed up to do the first leg of the World ARC, which is very exciting.

We were sorry to leave Madeira, but all good things must come to an end.

GC Leaving Madiera 2  1

It’s two or three days sailing to get to Gran Canaria and we had a pretty good run, though we arrived in the middle of the night and it was quite scary manoeuvring among all the massive ships and oil rigs when we got there.

It was great to be back in Las Palmas. We’re doing the ARC+ this time which is Las Palmas to St Lucia, but it calls in at Cape Verde instead of going straight across like the regular ARC.

We spent our time there doing last minute repairs, stocking the boat up with provisions, spare parts and tools and everything else we could think of that we might need for a round the world trip.

One thing you really have to have on board is an angle grinder…

GC Angle Grinder 1

…just in case we ever need to cut away the rigging in the event of a dismasting. Now those of you who are aware of my DIY skills will probably be horrified to think that I would ever be let anywhere near such an awesome power tool.

Do not worry.

I’ve never used one before and I don’t want to use it for the first time in an angry sea and accidentally cut my leg off, so I found the time to practice.

GC Angle Grinder 2

It’s actually really good fun.

Though once you get started it’s quite hard to stop.

GC Angle Grinder 3

WARNING TO OUR YOUNGER READERS. We are trained professionals. Do not try this at home.

We also needed a new drill, which came with a fantastic selection of gadgets.

GC Drill

I wonder what they’re for.

And we had SSB installed.

GC SSB

SSB stands for Single Sideband Radio. It’s the big radio type thing with the microphone attached that you can see underneath the computer screen. It’s quite a miraculous piece of kit. By bouncing radio signals round the globe you can talk to people in Australia or Tokyo or anywhere in the world from right out in the middle of the ocean. It doesn’t use satellites or anything so fancy, but it just bounces the signal off the ionosphere, back to the ground and up again, right all the way round until it gets to where you want. It’s quite amazing.

Though it’s a bit weird because whenever I hit the transmit button, the lights come on and the electric winch goes round. But you soon get used to that. It reminded me of Nick’s house in Cape Town. The electronics were incredibly sophisticated but didn’t quite work, so every time someone rang the doorbell the toaster popped up.

But apparently that’s quite normal with SSB. The power that the transmitter puts out is massive, so its bound to interfere with the electrics. There’s not much you can do about it apart from switch everything off before you use it.

So far all I’ve really heard people say is things like…

Hiss crackle FX

“Hello this is Mike Echo India November Niner, do you read me? Over” 

More hiss crackle FX

Mike Echo India November Niner, this is Zulu Tango Yankee Bravo Fower, you are a bit faint, but I read you. Over”

Hiss crackle FX

“Thank you Zulu Tango Yankee Bravo Fower. This is Mike Echo India November Niner. I read you loud and clear. Over”

Hiss crackle FX

“Thank you, Mike Echo India November Nine. Over”

Hiss crackle FX

“Zulu Tango Yankee Bravo Fower out.”

And that’s about it. No one seems to have actual conversations; they just ask each other if they can be heard. And then move on to see if someone else can hear them as well. But I expect it will come into it’s own when we are at sea.

Jan and James (Lyn’s sister and brother-in-law) came to visit with their daughter Lizzie.

GC James  Jan

I did try to find a photo of us all that wasn’t eating, but we don’t seem to have one. I think eating was all we did.

And very nice it was too.

But enough of this messing about. We’ve got a rally to do.

GC No 338

No 338 Domini. You can track us at…

https://www.worldcruising.com/arc_plus/eventfleetviewer.aspx

Next stop, Cabo Verde.

This is Domini – Out.

Ju & Lyn

X

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